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Environmental Implications of Land Reclamation in the Burren, Co. Clare: a preliminary analysis

David Drew, Emer Magee


Between 1981–1991, 4% of the Burren area (1371ha) was reclaimed under the Programme for Western Development. Most of the reclamation was intensive and the land is being used to produce silage. Although more efficient and intensive agriculture is now possible, there has been a corresponding loss of environmental variety as scrub, semi-natural grassland, limestone pavement and ancient field boundaries have been replaced by uniform grassland fields. The great increase in fertiliser and silage usage may pose a threat to groundwater quality in the area.

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